Working for birds in Africa


Wed, 02/06/2013 - 11:31 -- abc_admin

Slender-billed Gull Larus genei, Djibouti

Image Credit: 
Charles Davies

The following largely unconfirmed records have all been published for interest only in Bulletins of the African Bird Club.

from ABC Bulletin 19.2

Re-examination of the photograph of the claimed first Greater Frigatebird Fregata minor for the country revealed that it actually was a Lesser Frigatebird F. ariel, the second record for Djibouti, the first being from 1986.

from ABC Bulletin 19.1

A Greater Frigatebird Fregata minor was photographed at the ‘plage du héron’, Djibouti town, on 27 September 2011; this species would be new for the country

Some Serinus seedeaters photographed near Day village, on 1 June 2010, have raised interesting questions. Although they were initially identified as Yellow-throated Seedeaters S. flavigula, they appear to have noticeably less yellow on the throat than the Yellow-throated Seedeaters in Ethiopia and some seem not to have any yellow at all, thus being similar to (and possibly being) White-throated Seedeaters S. xanthopygius. More research is clearly needed to establish the identity of these birds. At the same site, Bonelli's Eagle Hieraaetus fasciatus, Djibouti Francolin Francolinus ochropectus and Gambaga Flycatcher Muscicapa gambagae were observed; all these species were also present on 23 - 24 September. At least one Sombre Rock Chat Cercomela dubia was photographed there on 25th; this appears to be the first record for the country. The yellow-tailed form of Green-winged Pytilia Pytilia melba was found near Dittilou on 2 June. Several Arabian Golden Sparrows Passer euchlorus were seen near Djibouti City on 4 June and at least 20 were there on 5 September, with smaller numbers the following day; this is a well-known haunt of this localised bird. Four Black Herons Egretta ardesiaca were seen in Djibouti City on 5 September.

Five Djibouti Francolins Francolinus ochropectus - a Critically Endangered Djibouti endemic - were seen on the escarpment at Forêt du Day on 20 February 2010. Somali Starling Onychognathus blythii was common there. About 60 Arabian Golden Sparrows Passer euchlorus, including many males in full breeding plumage were at the railway embankment in Djibouti City on 7th and another 30+ north of the town on 20th.

Two Slender-billed Gulls Larus genei were photographed at the entrance to Djibouti’s harbour on 20 March 2008.

The most recent documented ornithological survey was between 4 and 12 February 2001 which carried out a count of the waterbirds wintering on the coastal mudflats from Djibouti city east to the Somali border to assess the area’s potential as a Ramsar site. This survey recorded 10,072 waterbirds of 66 species, including a first for Djibouti Great Knot Calidris tenuirostris, and regionally important numbers of Crab Plover Dromas ardeola (352 with higher numbers occurring on passage), Lesser Sand Plover Charadrius mongolus (1,368) and Terek Sandpiper Xenus cinereus (861). Other notable Djibouti records from this survey were a single Masked Booby Sula dactylatra, up to 8 Black Egrets Egretta ardesiaca, a single Great Black-headed Gull Larus ichthyaetus, up to 20 Slender-billed Gulls L. genei, 3 Whiskered Terns Chlidonias hybrida and a female Citrine Wagtail Motacilla citreola.

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